There are many, many (beyond counting) moments which make up ‘reality’. These moments, or pulses, are the things we ‘do’ or ‘experience’ in our conscious lives: getting out of bed; eating some toast; ice-skating in the sunshine; squeezing out a botty burp that is giving us stomach ache; eating a hot, ketchup covered wurst at the German market in Birmingham; watching EastEnders; reading in the bath; being amused or touched by a comment of a friend; washing a cup; feeding a cat; or being moved by an act of kindness from a stranger. These moments make up reality. The moments each last just a tiny fraction of time. There are millions of these fractions of reality in a lifetime.
So, are you still with me? We don’t remember all of these moments, but we remember a few of them. The ones we remember are those realities that give us a sensation. It doesn’t matter what this sensation is, what matters is the intensity. Some moments of reality don’t give us much of a sensation: making a cup of tea, talking on the phone to PlusNet, sitting on an Arriva Train Wales with a laptop or wrapping yet another Christmas present. However, a few moments do give us a powerful sensation. During a lifetime there are probably quite a lot of these powerful sensation-inducing moments: an unexpected kiss, a resonating comment, a moment of pure and painful laughter or a smile on a train. Those moments of sensation, from moments of reality, turn into memories.
The memories of those sensations coming from points of reality can be incredibly strong. If I shut my eyes, and remember, really remember, I can feel those moments in my head, moments which may be from many years ago and which lasted only seconds. In my head I can make them last much longer and repeatedly. The feeling can be quite strong and intense. Yet, the reality of those moments was just a fraction of time when they actually happened. In my head, they have happened many times again.
And when I’m no longer of this world, those memories of those sensations of those realities will simply no longer exist. To me they are huge. They can’t be, though. They only feel huge. I can’t give the memory of those moments to anyone else. I just have to accept that they will disappear with me.
Thanks, Deleuze and Beckett, for that cheery thought!